Robin's Blog

Forgive And Be Free


Many years ago my writer friend, Melody Carlson and I were with another writer friend who challenged me by saying that he could tell I was harboring unforgiveness in my heart.

I thought he was crazy.

He didn’t know me well. Why would he say such a thing?

When Melody tenderly but firmly agreed with him i was stunned. But she knew me well enough to know that something was off in my spirit.

I wrote a chapter in Victim of Grace about what happened that day when these two friends called me into account for what was going on deep inside my spirit. It’s one of the most vulnerable chapters in the book. It’s also one of the chapters that the most people have written to me about when they tell me how God used this book in their lives.

If forgiveness is a struggle for you right now – openly or secretly – I encourage you to read Victim of Grace.

Here’s a portion of chapter six of Victim of GraceThe title of the chapter is “A Banner Word”.

I began by asking God to forgive me for holding on to the bitterness and unforgiveness toward this particular person. He was one of God’s children. Using the words “from my heart I choose to forgive,” I stated his first name and the sin. As soon as the words tumbled off my lips, I felt a lightness return to my spirit — ​a sense of serenity I hadn’t realized had been absent.

Looking up, I said, “There’s someone else I need to forgive.” The tears kept coming in a silent stream. I named the person’s first name, identified the exact hurt, and realized that in human eyes I had a right to continue to hold the infraction against this person.

Years earlier I had parceled out a pardon but that limited clemency had largely come from my human reservoir of mercy, not from God’s unending ocean of grace. I had managed to embrace the infraction all these years with enough measured control so that if I ever wanted to slip into the role of victim, I could do so. I had kept the memory of the hurt alive and ready to call into play if I ever needed sympathy.

As I stood in the middle of my two trusted writer-friends and prayed, from my heart, to completely forgive this person, chains were being broken in the spiritual realm. I was releasing that person, and in that same instant, I was being released.

In that moment I transferred the responsibility for forgiving that person to God. I was letting go, turning to my faithful heavenly Father, and placing the burden and responsibility on him. “Father, you forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”

The heavy lifting of forgiving wasn’t up to me. I had tried in my own logic and strength to let go, forgive, move on but forgiveness is accomplished in the spiritual realm and not as a result of human will power and kindness. 

I entrusted it all to my heavenly Father. He rolled away the stone in my heart. He brought back to life that which was dead inside of me.

I was the one who was set free.